When you think about Italy, it’s all abut food. Pasta, pizza, fish, amazing antipasti and WINE. All produced in this amazing diverse country with this unique terrain, climate and thousands of years of culture. And food culture. Nowhere in the world people fight and argue so much about the ‘right’ way of doing something, cooking something or combining food and pairing it with wine or other local drinks. Just right now there is a big discussion in Italy because a French website posted a carbonara recipe using … cream.
Oh, what a sin!
But even if beer is not the first thing that comes to mind when talking about Italian food culture. Beer always had its place. The Sunday pizza is not washed down with wine. Beer is the choice. When you see a couple enjoying pizza and wine is on the table, you can be almost certain that those are tourists. Especially from the North.
Italians don’t like overindulging and the big glasses of beer consumed in the Northern part of Europe have a bit of a vulgar taste in the country of Michelangelo, Caravaggio and the cradle of ‘Rinascimento’. Style is important and appearance matters. This is often forgotten by outsiders and belittled by those who can’t see beauty in detail.
So when the craft beer evolution started in Italy you could often see 4 beardy guys sharing a 0.75l bottle of beer, drinking from small glasses. Strange vision for the one pint or one litre beer cultures. But, craft beer – if revolutionary at all – is all about sharing taste, sharing the experience and enjoying in a social way. So suddenly the circle was closed. Italy was ready for more. More taste, more varieties and more new flavours. Italian breweries have very few restrictions about how to brew and also not having a long standing brewing tradition ‘playing’ with the ingredients is not considered a blasphemy.
Crediting the craft beer development to one region, or even one person is difficult. Craft beer developed in several areas and simply hit the ‘Zeitgeist’. With a rich wine culture, winemaking traditions also influenced the beer production. The results are stunning!
Should you find Italian craft beer on a menu, in your local craft beer shop or travelling on the road. Give it a try!
Just yesterday we discovered the following brewery and there are many more to discover.